2091. Charlotte Megret
2092. Neil Smith
Charlotte Megret and Neil Smith, from Ayrshire, are the ‘Rubbish Paddlers’, paddle-boarding Scotland’s rivers and coastlines to pick up and repurpose litter and raise awareness of water pollution.
With a shared enthusiasm for being outdoors on the water, Charlotte and Neil began to notice a lot of rubbish and started clearing up discarded items, focusing on rivers to try and prevent rubbish from reaching the sea. Where possible, they upcycle items, donating the profits to charity and sharing environmental information. They have worked with local authorities to plan clean ups, and have also completed a six week project, travelling from the North to the South of Scotland, using only paddle boards to pick litter, raise awareness, promote natural spaces and meet other people who help to keep their local waterways clean.
The pair work with young people and schools across Scotland to share environmental awareness.
In a personal letter to Charlotte, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“Together with Neil, as the brilliantly-named ‘Rubbish Paddlers’, you are paddle-boarding the rivers and coastlines of Scotland and clearing up litter along the way.
“I was inspired to hear how you are repurposing the rubbish you find and selling your upcycled items to support local charities.”
In a personal letter to Neil, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“Together with Charlotte, you are not only helping to tackle litter through your paddle-boarding expeditions, but also raising awareness of plastic pollution.
“Your work in schools and communities across Scotland is making a huge contribution to your local community.”
Congratulating Charlotte and Neil on their award, Elena Whitman MSP, Charlotte and Neil’s local MSP for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, said:
“Well done to Charlotte and Neil for their ‘Rubbish Paddlers’ initiative and playing an important role in protecting our environment. I first met Charlotte and Neil two years ago and they have supported many beach cleans in the area. I regularly see them on the River Doon removing rubbish. Their passion is second to none and they have enthused people in Ayrshire and beyond with their paddle boarding litter picking adventures and are leading the way in raising awareness.”
Charlotte and Neil said:
“We are delighted to have received the Points of Light award. Positive environmental stories are essential to stay optimistic for the future. Hopefully, our work helps shine light on the wonderful rivers, lochs and coastline in our country, as well as our responsibility in the many issues they are facing.”
See more about ‘Rubbish Paddlers’